How Church Leaders Can Improve Their Stewardship of Life
By: Danny Watterson May 1, 2017
In ministry, maintaining a healthy balance between work and life can be difficult. Yes, ministry is a 24/7 calling, but we're also called to be good stewards of our family, friends, and mental/physical/emotional/spiritual health. How can church leaders discover and keep healthy work-life rhythms?
At Vanderbloemen Search Group, we’ve built this into our core staff values. We call it Stewardship of Life. In order to keep a high standard of excellence in ministry or any other type of fast-paced environment, avoiding burnout and maintaining a healthy family with plenty of rest is paramount.
Here are 4 ways you can to manage the crazy in life and ministry.
1. Use your calendar.
Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? You’d be surprised at how many people haven’t caught on to how helpful this is. It’s relatively easy: just put everything you do on your calendar (yes, everything)! Every cell phone has a calendar function, so you carry it with you everywhere. It only takes 10 seconds to input an event.
When you don’t know where all of your time goes, you become victim to the most pressing need and the loudest voice. However, when you choose to make it a priority to document your time, you realize where you spend your energy pointlessly and where you can prioritize. You gain control of your life, which ultimately gives you the keys to build margin.
2. Build margin.
Assuming you’re now a calendar junkie like me and you understand where your time goes, you can now build margin into your calendar. Majority of people run their life to the “edges,” meaning there’s no more space for anything to fit. Once there is a change of plans or an unfortunate event that comes out of left field, everything comes crashing down because there wasn’t any margin. Life is extremely busy, and building margin is often easier said than done. But building space into your life that gives you more flexibility will take some tension off of your shoulders and make you less likely to burn out.
3. Be intentional.
My wife and I both move through life at 100 mph. We’ve learned that if we don’t plan something, it likely won’t happen. Sound familiar? Every year around Thanksgiving, we begin thinking and planning out the upcoming year. One of the things we schedule ahead of time is family time - family vacation, spouse retreat, etc. Guess where those get put? You guessed it - on the calendar, like cement. They act as road stops on the journey through the next year - opportunities to recharge and recalibrate. Be intentional with your family time; if you aren't, time will pass you by, and busy-ness will supersede your good intentions.
4. Pull over.
This one is hard to do, and serves as more of a reminder than anything. When you decide to use your calendar, build margin, and be intentional, you begin to see God show up in unique ways. Because you have a few minutes at the airport, you can notice the uniqueness of the people God created. When you don’t have to rush from one place to the next, you can take in God’s creation on the walk or drive you’re on. Take these moments in, and be sure to pull over and allow yourself to reflect on God’s goodness.
Certainly there are times that catch us off guard and throw things into a tail-spin, but if you choose to do these four things, they’ll help you manage a healthier work-life balance.
What have you found helpful in maintaining healthy rhythms in your life?